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10 Scariest Escapes From Death News/Business. (2008) A novice sky-diver dangles from a plane; an avalanche buries a man alive. (CC) (Stereo)

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  NBC    Dateline NBC    10 Scariest Escapes From Death  News/Business.  (2008) A  
   novice sky-diver dangles from a plane; an avalanche buries a...  

    November 19, 2012
    2:00 - 3:00am PST  

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let's go. >> strap yourself in and hold on to every body part you want to keep. >> being crazy and pushing the limits. >> you're falling 120 miles an hour. >> because this is going to get extreme. >> there was no out. >> these guys are thrill seeking, death defying, adrenaline addicted, and sometimes down right crazy. >> i'm alive. >> the sky diver at nosebleed altitude with over the top attitude. >> your body's survival instincts kick in. >> the scuba diver that was going to be dinner. >> it was crazy. >> the snow border who was stoked when the mountain moved. >> i really felt i could be faster than the avalanche. >> the surfer riding a mountain at sea. >> it felt like a ton of bricks landed on me. >> they stare down danger and defeat it. >> i could have been dead.
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>> get the parachute out. you got it. >> the thrill of it is hard to describe. >> you'll be wondering how did they survive this? >> i can't believe that i'm still alive after that. >> and how did they get it on camera? "extreme escapes caught on tape." thanks for joining us, everyone. i'm lester holt. you think you get wild on the weekend? you're about to see some of the most amazing moments of athletic adventure ever caught on tape. they're more than extreme. they are white knuckle life and death situations. danger is just the start of it. you'll watch this but still you won't believe these guys escaped alive. like the b.a.s.e. jumper who leaps from bridges and buildings and everything else. he decided to try a new trick off a sheer ledge turned out to be one crazy cliff-hanger. >> ready, set, let's go. >> my name is ted davenport. i'm a professional skier and
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b.a.s.e. jumper. i've jumped all over the world. i've b.a.s.e. jumped in united states, noourp, new zealand. the thrill of it is hard to describe. you're falling towards the earth. it's that surreal of not being in control but being in control. there's kind of a balance. you're really close to possibly not living, but you are living. sports that involve a high amount of risk usually have a high payoff. they're usually incredibly exciting and gives you a lot of thrill and put a big smile on your face. i was in colorado with two very close friends. and we were going to jump off one of our most favorite spots. an 800 foot cliff that has a really flat takeoff. >> you're there, you're there. i'm right here. >> we had everything planned out
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days before. we talked about this jump, what we were going to do. we even practiced what kind of trick i would do. >> how far behind us are you going? >> just a second or two. >> what order we would land and all that. we were very safe in our planning. >> you got this. >> let's do this. >> we all had a great feeling, high fives, getting excited. before every jump we're alws big smiles, feeling stoked and just ready to go. >> let's do it. >> ready, set, let's go. >> i was attempting a trick i'd never done before on a cliff. the trick i was doing was called the sashmi roll. this is an off axis double front flip. i knew something was wrong within a couple seconds. i started to go upsidedown backwards facing the wall, completely unsafe body position
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to deploy my parachute. a lot of things were going through my head. mainly just make it through this. get through this. get the parachute out. you got it, you got it. live, live, live. so i flipped back over, turn away from the wall, the ground was coming at me incredibly fast. i was pretty sure that this was going to end badly and right as the ground was coming right up to me, i open my parachute and within about one second before i could even really know what's happening, bang. i hit the ground. i hit with such force even with my body armor i knew that something could be potentially wrong. something felt internally messed up. >> i'm alive. i think i'm pretty hurt though. >> i started to cough up blood. i had a lot of pain in my stomach and my lower back.
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i realized i might have a serious injury and we need to call for rescue. >> i'm coughing up a lot of blood. >> luckily there was a team of black hawk helicopters that were in the area doing a training exercise. they responded to the call. and within about 40 minutes they were on scene lowering a soldier down lifting me into the helicopter. fortunately i only sustained a couple broken ribs, some severely bruised lungs. that's why i was coughing up the blood. a bruised back. and i walked out of the hospital the next day. i've jumped all over the world since that accident. i'm more focused on really smooth, stable jumps. in hindsight, i was incredibly lucky. >> okay. how's this for extreme? it was a perfect colorado day and snow border heather mack was
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totally blissed out. blue skies, fresh powder, sun shining at her back. then came the avalanche nipping at her heels. >> we love the mountains. our whole family. we've raised our kids in the back country. >> it's a place for us to unwind and enjoy nature to its fullest. >> when you're out there, it's soft, in your face. it's really an amazing experience. my name is heather mack. >> my name is ben mack and i am heather's husband. in the back country it would be fresh snow, mountains, you would not see any sort of civilization. no technology, no chair lifts. no automobiles. nothing. the flip side is it can be a very deadly and dangerous place as well. you have to be aware of your
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surroundings and know that nature can come tumbling down behind you. >> we had some friends ask us if we wanted to go to the back country at jones pass. it was beautiful, sunny, cold. >> we had unbelievable powder turn. fresh snow all day, lots of sunshine. couldn't be any better. >> so it was about 1:00 in the afternoon. i remember we hiked up this huge mountain, and it was my turn to drop in. >> immediately the entire area fractures. >> go, go, go, go! >> as soon as i heard him yell, i knew something had gone wrong. i do remember realizing that there was no out. i couldn't go left.
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i couldn't go right. it just felt like it was coming so fast. >> i was absolutely terrified. time froze. all i could think of was her safety. >> i definitely remember, like, you just don't have time. you just need to, like, go straight. go straight, ride out of this. and i really felt i could be faster than the avalanche. >> all i could see was snow behind heather. i could hardly see heather at that moment. i was terrified. and all i could think of with us please, please make it, heather. i was able to see heather come out of the bottom of the slope. when i saw she was ahead of the avalanche, i knew she was safe. >> it was flat. i knew i outran it. i just remember my friends had their hands in the air and they were hooting and hollering. i was overwhelmed by everything.
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i mean, if it would have caught me, i can't even imagine. >> i gave her a big hug and a kiss and i told her how much i loved her. she outran it perfectly. she was totally smooth. and had there been one mistake, it could have cost her her life. >> i was really happy to be walking away that day alive. coming up, chaos at a surfing contest. it's the crowd who's in danger. >> i see the powerful ocean coming right at me. >> and later, a ride on a wave eight stories tall. >> and this big mountain of white water came. i knew if i made any mistakes, could be my last. >> when "extreme escapes caught on tape" continues. sfx- "sounds of african drum and flute" look who's back. again? it's embarrassing it's embarrassing! we can see you carl.
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an adventure you're in for at a rodeo. take for example the day the jonas brothers were going on at the houston livestock show and rodeo. the largest in the world. the fans were already screaming, but it had nothing to do with the singing siblings.
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>> my family and i were going to the rodeo that day. >> first they have the rodeo which is a lot of fun. then they have a major act. >> we went to the rodeo to watch the jonas brothers and demi l e lovat o rks. >> the parking lot was full of kids. >> i saw people running and thought they saw the jonas brothers. then they kept looking back. i had to take a second take like what was that. then i saw this big black bull running like wild. >> i just looked out my camera and started rolling. the next thing i know, this bull was coming up toward us. >> and the bull kept, you know, bucking back and forth and zigzagging. and people were jumping back. mothers with children were screaming and turning around and running and panicking. >> i just froze. with my older cousin, she started yelling at me to start running. then i finally snapped back to reality and started running with
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her. and i couldn't find my mom, so i was really scared about that. and then i saw the bull buck this lady and she fell flat on the ground. >> i was really afraid that she was hurt very severely, because he knocked her flat on her back and she did not get up at that time. >> there was fear, there was panic. people were just taking cover, grabbing their children and taking cover. >> at that point i was absolutely horrified. because i thought people were going to get killed. and it didn't look like there was anybody doing anything. but then i saw a cop running and trying to get the bull. and one actually started to try and taser the bull. >> that's like swatting an alligator with a fly swatter. just made it more angry. >> here comes a cowboy. he'll take care of this. watch this. >> so the cowboys actually came in right on time. they come riding out fast. and they go and rope him.
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and the next thing i know, they're coming back with the bull. >> they got that bull. >> when we got back together, it was like my gosh. thank goodness nobody was hurt. >> with all those children in that parking lot, there could have been a lot more mayhem, a lot of injury. perhaps even death. a cop with a taser gun does not do the trick with a bull. and without a cowboy, a rope, and a horse, that bull would have done more damage. >> they got that bull. >> my word of advice when you go to a jonas brothers concert is watch out for screaming fans and bulls. >> california, the king of surfing culture. and the mavericks is the king of surfing contest. thousands come to watch the best surfers in the world. but one day stands out because when the surf was up, it was way up. and even those watching found themselves catching one extreme wave.
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>> my fiance and i had decided to take turns at who was responsible for valentines day. and this is his year. and it just so happened that mavericks was going to be held. >> it is one of the biggest surf wave competitions in the world. and she was just enthusiastic. she was excited. she'd never got to see a big wave competition before. >> the mavericks event attracts 24 of the biggest names in big wave surfing. >> i recently took surfing lessons and was out venturing to mavericks for that very reason. for my interest and passion in surfing. on the morning that mavericks was taking place, the ocean was quite turbulent. on occasion a high tide surge would come up and maybe get somebody's blanket or shoes a
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little wet. >> first and second waves got people wet. let you know that there was probably more on its way. third wave was kind of the shock and awe wave. took out a number of people. i filmed and watched the beach. wiped out a lot of camera men. so at that point i knew it was not the end of it. >> oh, thank you. >> we just decided why don't we go ahead and get off the beach. we were just starting to leave when we saw the three or four policemen off the beach telling everyone they were going to have to evacuate. >> we were hearing this crowd yelling run, run, run. part of you, you know, in your head was wondering who are they talking to. why are they yelling to run. and as i look over my right shoulder, i see the powerful
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ocean coming right at me. and more towards my feet. once my feet were taken out from under me, it was over with. >> you could just see big groups of people just getting swept away with this horrendous amount of water. it took out all the tents. you just see people pouring off the stands. >> there was no control. and you didn't have time to think about anything. because you didn't know which way was up. >> i just remember wondering am i going to drown. and what am i going to hit. the wave was in an area it wasn't supposed to be in. we weren't out in the ocean. we were out in the parking lot. >> i ended up landing on a rock. then i had a big guy land right on top of me. i was pinned down. >> i hit my elbow. and then my leg hit something very hard. the pain on impact was quite
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substantial to the point where i knew something was really, really wrong. it wasn't until i saw my leg that was confirmed. my foot was going in a direction it shouldn't go in. >> at that point, the water had receded. afs trying to find out where she was. there was a lot of screaming. a lot of people hollering for help. a lot of people yelling for medics. a lot of chaos at that point. >> i notice that dan wasn't anywhere around, because i couldn't hear his voice. other people had come to my rescue to help move me away from that dangerous area. >> by the time i was able to get up and move, she'd already had a whole bunch of people around her that were trying to help her and stabilize her foot. >> when i looked at him for the first time i could tell he was in shock. and then probably what was going on with me was a little frightening. my foot was completely dislocated from my lower leg.
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and if it wasn't for skin, i would have lost my foot. it was quite traumatic. >> the thought of losing each other at that point brought us closer together. >> i realized, wow. in the blink of an eye i could have had a head injury. i could have been dead. i could have lost my fiance. i wouldn't say this event has deterred my passion for surfing. you never would have found me surfing mavericks anyway. i didn't need to catch a wave that big. coming up -- >> you're falling around 120 miles an hour. >> two daredevil sky divers. but only one working parachute. wait until you see how this one ends. when "dateline" continues.
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you can watch this next adventure over and over and you may do that with your remote control and still you'll be wondering why is this man alive? >> i don't see myself as adrenaline junkie. i feel i'm a regular guy that sky dives. >> i've been sky diving since i was 17. >> about 7,000 jumps now. >> 15,000 jumps. >> we're actually working together now. he's become a good friend. >> nice warm day. the skies were blue. everything was great. >> little bit windy. maybe 15 knots off the lake. >> the aircraft climbs to 15,000 feet. the red light comes on. you get ready to go. green light, you go out. >> you're falling around 120 miles an hour.
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>> and that gives you one minute for free fall. i went to open my parachute. that's when all hell broke loose, really. >> turned around and there was michael just spinning. his parachute got snagged on to his harness. the size of the parachute that was left up there was probably the equivalent of having an umbrella over your head. >> i was trying to figure out what was going on all the while spinning to the ground. >> you could see him trying to release the parachute. >> at that point i was lightheaded and feeling like i'm giving up. >> what can i do? i can't do anything. i can just sit there and watch. >> your body's survival insti t instincts kick in. you can't just sit there and die. >> he's over the water or the land. what is he going to hit?
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>> i drop below. and it came to that point when i thought i've got nothing left. so it was just sort of a more peaceful sort of feeling at that point knowing i had done everything i could. and realization i'm about to die and this is real. after waving good-bye i thought say something to the camera. all that came out was i'm dead. and then a quick good-bye. that was it. >> i saw him on impact. that's when i got a sinking feeling in my heart. i am filming the death of my friend. my priority was just getting to him as soon as possible. so i got myself free of my parachute. and then just called out to him. as i got close to him, i was still calling out his name. he wasn't responding.
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he was either dead or very, very close to it. that's when i started screaming through the bushes. and i was just covered in thorns. the thorns were sticking in my skin. i started to rip my way out. switched the pain off, you know. i could just see a parachute on top of the bushes. then i just kind of went through the bushes and looked down. there he was. >> talk to me, man. >> when i saw him there in the fetal position. i could see he was breathing. so that was just a huge relief. >> you okay? >> no. >> it was painful, but it wasn't overwhelming. i think so much adrenaline that a little bit of pain was the least of my worries. >> the firemen came in with machetes and cut a track through the bushes. the paramedics came in and put him on a big board. >> i had a collapsed right lung
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and a broken left ankle. i was in hospital for just under two weeks. >> i think maybe the blackberry bushes slowed him down. what happened to him, he's the luckiest man on earth. coming up, swept out to sea. >> huge wind, huge waves. i knew i was done. >> an eight foot kayak, 30 foot waves. does he even stand a chance? >> which one was going to kill me? >> capsized. when "extreme escapes caught on camera" continues. ♪ okay. whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. i'd stay clear of that cleaner, too, if i were made of wood and granite. why don't you try pledge? ♪ pledge multi-surface. [ man ] its formula's safe on all kinds of stuff, like this... and this... and this.
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john stockton sure wasn't expecting anything extreme. all he wanted was some peace and quite on vacation in hawaii. a few tranquil days alone. just a man and his kayak. what could go wrong? how about everything. >> when i was a child i had this dream of being a boat captain. and i had spent most of my 20s
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full-time student, full-time teacher. burnt out on every level. i had this idea of going out and kayaking up the coastline. i remember being so happy that my smile hurt. the third day i came around this point that was way out. it just looked like a total storm scene. i immediately turned the boat around and just started paddling to shore. i see this sheet of win on the water. within 30 seconds to a minute, i was being drug out to sea. i started feeling this kind of panic rise up. i'm holding on just shaking. within a half hour i was five six miles out. and i knew i was done. i remember only parts of that night. 20, 30 foot swells crashing down in the darkness.
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i just was living in fear which one was going to kill me. i see the sun come up behind the broken clouds of the storm. i'm 30 miles out into the channel. i had about a liter of water. i had about a couple little bags of dried beef jerky and pineapple which were spoiled by salt water. i began to paddle back. so i paddled all day. didn't see a boat. i paddled all night literally 21 hours. i made it probably within 10 miles of kona and had a sigh of relief at 4:00 in the morning. i'm going to make it. the next thing i remember was waking up and i realize i had just totally passed out. i'm looking at this mountain and it looked far. i did have a dry bag on the boat with a cell phone. in the night i was so busy about making the progress i didn't even think about the cell phone. i saw one bar of signal going on and off. it shocked me. i dialed 911 right away. >> 911 emergency.
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>> hi there. i don't know how much longer i'll have a signal. i'm ship wrecked. >> she's like hello? hello? sorry i cannot hear you. you need to call us back on another line. i'm like no. the next time i got ahold of the coast guard. >> hello? >> hello. can you hear me? >> yes. >> my name is john stockton. i'm 20 miles south of the big island. >> from the tone of his voice i could tell this guy was in trouble. >> i originally capsized and got swept away. >> okay. do you have a position? >> let me look it up for you. >> he was very helpful in saying we'll get a plane to you. >> you're looking for a red kayak, it's hard to point out. it's like a needle in a hay stack. >> can you see land? >> yeah. >> then the phone died. so for the next two days i drifted out and the mountains
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started to shrink. and planes were going over me. the fifth day comes i was a hundred miles out to sea. i remember thinking to myself this has got to be the day. if something doesn't happen today, i'm just not going to make it. and way off in the horizon i see a plane sweeping up. and i had this little 99 cent walmart emergency blanket. i tied it to the ore and started making as much motion as i could. they came over top of me. i can't explain the relief i felt when i heard them make a circle around me. i just started crying. they put me in the metal basket. i remember them hoisting it up and feeling my head spin as i spun around like this. finally tink. that was the biggest moment of my life.
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since the rescue, i was put on a ban. no kayaking by myself. and most of them rather i stay out of the ocean altogether. coming up, a race straight into danger. >> she really was thinking maybe i could die. >> two women in the run of their lives. will they have the steel to finish the ironman? when "dateline" continues. pluggable febreze can d make even this old container smell fresh? take a deep breath. describe the room that you're in. i think just like a big, open space. like i'm hanging the sheets on the line. and it smells really fresh, man. let's take your blindfold off. oh! [ both laugh ] super-weird! oh, is it febreze? yeah. ohh, how about that? febreze has anti-clogging technology that keeps it smelling fresh, even after 30 days. febreze. breathe happy.
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let's face it. they don't call it ironman because it's a cake walk. a 2.4 mile swim. 112 mile bike ride. and then 26 mile run. what happens when you're this close to the finish line but your body is pure jell-o? this is what happens. >> i was always an athlete growing up. sports to me was something that i always aspired to be doing in my life. >> i was competitive from college. i wanted to do something to keep fit. i never in my wildest dreams thought i was going to be a
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professional athlete. >> as an athlete you have these goals. you want to win something. 1997 was that year for me. i was peaking. for the first time i believed i could win the hawaii ironman. it's the holy grail of triathlons. >> i put a huge effort into the event for '97. my day started in amazement because i had broken the 15-year-old swim record. typically, you know, i am the first out of water in ironmans past. and then on the bike the stronger cyclists would catch me around the halfway mark, 56 miles. and this year it didn't happen. i was just like on cloud nine. and then i get out on the run, and i was just, like, i can't believe it. i think i might actually win the ironman. >> the day of the race i knew that something was wrong with my body. i had a great swim.
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about 30 miles into my bike, i just was not able to keep anything down. anything that went in just went back out. i was just trying to drink as much as i could each eighth station. and then run, that's the part where things can really fall apart. >> when i got the report that i was leading by 22 minutes or so, i got chills and i kind of got a grin on my face like i think i can actually do this. i can hold on. around mile 13 or 16 it's just hot and windy and the toughest part of the race for a lot of people. i require a lot of salt tablets. i go to reach into my bag and they were gone. and i was like trying not to panic. but i knew i had to conserve. and i could feel the cramping coming on in my quads. and that's kind of when the mental starts taking over. you're like one step at a time.
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don't panic. breathe. just keep moving forward. >> 10k to go. i felt stronger than i did all day. i started running pretty hard. and at the time i was in fourth place and wendy was in third place. i actually caught wendy at mile 25. i got to about half a mile. all of a sudden when i turned right to go down the drive, i fell. and my legs just gave out. >> and when i came around that corner and i saw her falling, i'm like, now i have to make my move. >> i was afraid. you're afraid to lose what you have at that point. and i can say it was just a panic. then i looked behind and saw her coming. my brother had the camera rolling and my mother was standing next to him. i come toward the finish line.
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and then i fall right in front of the camera. my mom. her voice becomes panicked. >> no! no! >> she really was thinking maybe i could die. >> oh, my gosh. i'm going to be able to pass her. she's down. i need to go faster. i went to sidestep her, my body wasn't able to react to stay up. that's when i fell down. i'm like okay. stand up, go. but my body was so cramped it couldn't respond to what i was telling it to do. >> you just want to finish. you see the line. you know, you put so much effort into it. you just want to get there. and it was a reactionary movement. it's like, just fall like when you're a baby. you want that ball, you just crawl to it. >> i looked at her and thought that's what i need to do. >> you're not really pulling your legs up. you're dragging your knees.
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i'm getting these scars on my knees. >> i think that's what's so bizarre about it. how two people at the same time could be at that exhaustion level. >> getting across that line, pure joy, exhaustion, excitement. so happy it was done. and then looking back and watching her still crawling was painful. i just wanted to pull her and get her across that line so she could feel the relief i was feeling. that it's over. >> when i come across the line, wendy puts her hand on my hand and was just like we did it. it wasn't oh, good. i beat you. it was we did it. coming up -- >> this can't be happening. >> under water and way over his head. >> bam. hits the cage. i've got my hands on his nose. i'm looking into the mouth. >> a terrifying face to face
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fight with a hungry great white. and check out this monster of the sea. >> there's this mountain coming at us. like a train just running me over. >> a killer ride on the biggest wave any man has ever tried. when "extreme escapes caught on tape" continues. [ female announcer ] now get high speed internet at home on our newly expanded advanced digital network, a connection you can count on. introducing at&t u-verse high speed internet with more speed options, reliability and wi-fi hot spots than ever. go to our website below to get u-verse high speed internet for just 14.95 a month for 12 months with a one-year price guarantee. it's all the speed you need all at a great price. our newly expanded advanced digital network gives you more of what you enjoy online. and with at&t, our wireless gateway turns your home into a private wi-fi hot spot that connects your wi-fi devices and can even save on your smart phone data usage at home. go to our website below to get at&t u-verse
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no surprise that danger was involved in this next adventure. let's be real. when you head out to a place called shark alley, you know what you're in for. the surprise came later for scuba diver jerry loman. a shark went inside the cage meant to protect him. a cage fight with a great white? this is extreme. >> i had noticed an ad in the paper. extreme adrenaline junkie type
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thing. shark cage diving in south africa. like, i had to do this. i got down there. having this be kind of my real first vacation, i was going to pull out all the stops. so we get in this boat and we get out there to what's called shark alley. you see them swimming along. they're gliding along so grateful. then you're like this is it. you're not turning around. get in the cage. and then suddenly you get this shark swimming around outside. like a submarine. it was huge. they're really inquisitive. i remember slowly exhaling the bubbles and the shark came right up to the cage. so you were a few inches away from the shark and its nose. it was really cool. at this point, this was the ultimate trip. you couldn't have scripted it better.
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the crew had this fish head tied on to a string. they would toss it out and coax the shark closer to the cage to get good shots. usually they yanked it away and the shark would swim off. in one circumstance, he tossed out the fish head. the shark got ahold of it so he couldn't pull it away. he's thrashing away and the guy couldn't pull the fish head out. next thing you know, bam. he hits this cage. just spot on. right in the opening. all of a sudden you si this huge head with just teeth inching its way closer and closer. it was crazy. the next thing you know, we're on the bottom of the cage staring up. it's just thrashing back and forth. you could feel the whole cage swaying, the bars bending a bit. you're surprised it doesn't break apart.
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it hit my wet suit. i've got my hands on its nose, looking in its mouth. you see the meat hanging off the teeth. this can't be happening. man, this is so surreal. and then next thing i know, boom. he gets close enough and knocks my regulator out of my mouth. i'm looking up at this shark, no regulator in my mouth and i realized sooner or later i was going to die. i knew it was decision time. there was no doubt about it. i had to get out of the cage or i was going to drown or the shark was going to bite me. i pushed him off, he turned the right way. i shot out of the cage. the other diver says man, you saved my life. i was just going to stay there. you actually made the decision and got out the side and it worked for you. so i thought i would try it. the reason why the shark was able to get its nose in the cage
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was on a prior dive, some film crew was there so they had pulled a bar out so they could kind of swim in and swim out and they didn't put it back. they said, don't worry about it. you know, the shark's not going to get in the cage. i can't believe that i'm still alive today basically after that. i had nightmares reliving this thing over and over again. just waking up and you're like, wow. it was a very close call. >> an understatement. and finally, check out this next guy. he had an ocean monster by the tail and he rode it right into the guinness book of world regards. dennis mcnamara was in with his girlfriend when he rode it. it was 170 feet high and 100%
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dangerous. >> my name is gary mcnamara and i just surf for a living. >> i grew up surfing. my father's a surfer. gary is known for being crazy and maybe pushing the limits more than other people might, but there's something about him that i never worry about him when he's in the water ever. >> i am very comfortable in the ocean. i feel that i belong out there. i'm so fortunately blessed that i get to travel the world and surf. we were at a little fishing village in portugal. >> there's a cliff that kind of sticks out into the ocean. so whenever garrett is out surfing, i'm on the rocks on the cliff, you could say. so i could see when the sets are coming.
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>> we had jet skis pull into the giant waves. we start going out. >> i knew that the decision of which wave to go on was going to be pretty imperative. >> and he started to turn on the first wave. and i'm number two, number two. so we go over the first wave. and there's this mountain coming at us. >> i could tell from the cliff even that if he were to have gone on the first one and fallen on the first one, his chances of survival would be much less than the wave that he did choose. >> right as the let go of the rope, everything just seemed so perfect. as i'm going down, the chops that are coming up the face are like moguls. and you got to watch where the board is hitting to make sure that you don't hit them wrong and fall.
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trying to keep your feet in the straps. and the whole time focusing on where is this wave going to go. as i got to the bottom, that's where the most critical part of the wave deciding when to turn. i knew if i made any mistake, could be my last. i waited until the last second and then turned. and this big mountain of white water came. it felt like a ton of bricks landed on me. it kind of squashed me down. >> when you see that water fall on him, i was in my mind hold on garrett. hold on. >> somehow i stayed on my board. and another mountain of white water came from behind like a train just running me over.
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and somehow i came through that. and then i landed out in the flat and just kind of, wow right on. >> it is a relief when he finally makes it out of the wave. >> this is the most dangerous wave i've surfed. i didn't surf it for a world record. it was just for the love of it. and whatever comes out of it, i'm so happy i just get to surf every day. surfing's my life. >> that's all for now. i'm lester holt. thanks for joining us. this morning on "meet the press," how the petraeus affair and the political fight over libya have rattled washington, just as the president hoped for a new start with congress over the debt.
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embattled former cia director david petraeus testifies privately on capitol hill, insisting his resignation had nothing to do with the botched response to the attack in libya. all of this as we are still getting a daily dose of unpleasant details about general petraeus's affair with paula broadwell, and the role that florida socialite jill kelly played in the drama. and the clash in benghazi heats up as charges that the u.n. secretary misled the country about the attack on "meet the press" and other programs. >> our current assessment is that what happened in benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo. >> now sparking a war of words with the president, senators are threatening to block her potential nomination as secretary of state. >> the reason i don't trust her is because i think she knew better, and if she didn't know better, she shouldn't be the voice of america. >> senator mccain and senator
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graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. >> we'll talk to senator lindsey graham exclusively this morning. plus, the key figures trying to get to the bottom of benghazi and the petraeus affair. chair of the senate intelligence committee senator dianne feinstein of california. and chair of the house intelligence committee, congressman mike rogers of michigan. then after the election, will washington get anything done? talks start on how to avoid the fiscal cliff, as mitt romney draws fire from fellow republicans by accusing the president of doling out, quote, gifts to minority groups in exchange for their vote. what's the fallout and the future of the gop? with us, tea-party backed congressman raul labrador, tom friedman, former white house chief of staff for bill clinton john podesta, republican strategist mike murphy, and nbc news chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell.